The medical condition of an Indian gangrape victim has “taken a turn for the worse” with “signs of severe organ failure”, the Singapore hospital treating her said in a statement issued late on Friday. “Her vital signs are deteriorating with signs of severe organ failure,” Kelvin Loh,chief executive officer of Mount Elizabeth Hospital where she was airlifted to from India, said.
“As of 9pm (1300 GMT) on 28 Dec, the patient’s condition has taken a turn for the worse,” he stated.
“This is despite doctors fighting for her life including putting her on maximum artificial ventilation support, optimal antibiotic doses as well as stimulants which maximise her body’s capability to fight infections.”
Loh said the hospital had informed the unnamed victim’s family members of her worsening condition and “they are currently by her side to encourage and comfort her”.
The girl was described by Singapore doctors earlier on Friday as “struggling against the odds, and fighting for her life” after she was found with a lung infection and brain injuries in addition to suffering a cardiac arrest previously.
She had also been diagnosed with severe intestinal injuries as a result of being attacked with an iron bar during the assault in India’s capital Delhi on 16 December.
Earlier today, the 23-year-old gangrape victim was “struggling against the odds” to survive after suffering a heart attack and brain injuries, as medics criticised a decision to fly her to Singapore.
In a bulletin issued the day after her arrival in Singapore, doctors at the Mount Elizabeth Hospital said the patient was battling an infection in her lungs and remained critically ill after the December 16 assault in Delhi.
“The patient is currently struggling against the odds, and fighting for her life,” Kelvin Loh, chief executive officer of Mount Elizabeth Hospital where she was airlifted to from India, said in a statement.
“Our medical team’s investigations upon her arrival at the hospital yesterday showed that in addition to her prior cardiac arrest, she also had infection of her lungs and abdomen, as well as significant brain injury,” he added.
“A multi-disciplinary team of specialists has been working tirelessly to treat her since her arrival, and is doing everything possible to stabilise her condition over the next few days.”
On Thursday night, the hospital revealed that the woman, who is a student in Delhi, had undergone “three abdominal surgeries and experienced a cardiac arrest in India” as it gave the first detailed rundown of her condition.
The woman had been treated in Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital since she was thrown off a bus in the capital after six men took turns to rape her at the back of the vehicle.
She also suffered severe intestinal injuries as a result of being assaulted with an iron bar, according to police and prosecutors.
The decision to fly her in a special air ambulance was taken at a meeting of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s cabinet on Wednesday, the government having promised to pay all her medical bills.
Home minister Sushilkumar Shinde said the government’s only concern was to ensure the victim received “the best treatment possible”.
“The doctors of Safdarjung Hospital and those from Trauma centre, they were called and consulted,” he told reporters.
Shinde also said that Delhi police would soon launch a drive to recruit more female officers as a confidence-building measure.
“Every police station should have women police personnel,” the minister said.
“I have suggested that each of the 166 police stations in Delhi should have at least one woman officer. We don’t have enough to meet that target yet, but I told them that as many as possible should be deployed until we recruit more women.”
The Delhi gangrape has shone the spotlight on a crime that occurs on a daily basis in India, with most such assaults taking place in rural areas.
Meanwhile, The Straits Times on Friday reported that the family of the girl, who is battling for life after being gang-raped in a moving bus in New Delhi 12 days ago, is shell-shocked, but thankful.
“The father said he is reassured that the best is being done for his daughter, and the rest lies in the hands of God,” it said citing a source who had met the girl’s father and her two brothers.
The father, who is in the late 40s, repeatedly expressed his gratitude to the Indian government and Singapore for facilitating the travel and treatment.
“Aside from the trauma of the rape, they [the family] have to get used to the idea that they are now in a foreign land,” the daily quoted the source as saying.
“These are simple, rustic people who have never dreamt of boarding an aircraft, much less travel to a foreign country in an air ambulance,” the source was quoted as saying.
The family members do not speak English and rely on interpreters to communicate with hospital staff.
The high commission of India has assigned a liaison officer with the family on 24 hour basis.
Should the woman die, it could trigger fresh outrage over the case, which caught Prime Minister Manmohan Singh s government off-guard and triggered a blame game between politicians and the police.
“We share the anguish and anger with the country over this heinous crime,” Singh told reporters on Friday.
“Our prayers are with the brave young girl and best possible medical care is being provided to her.”
New Delhi has the highest number of sex crimes among India’s major cities, with a rape reported on average every 18 hours, according to police figures.
Government data show the number or reported rape cases in the country rose by nearly 17% between 2007 and 2011.